Virtual Reality Learning Environment Enhances Medical Student Knowledge

Medical student understanding and knowledge can be enhanced with a virtual reality learning environment.

HealthDay News — A virtual reality learning environment (VRLE) can enhance medical student understanding and knowledge, according to a study published online March 8 in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.

Grace Ryan, from the University College Dublin, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial involving medical students who were assigned to a 15-minute learning experience on the stages of fetal development (VRLE intervention) or PowerPoint tutorial on the same topic (control). Knowledge was assessed with multiple choice questionnaires (MCQ) at three time points: preintervention, immediately postintervention, and one week postintervention.

The researchers observed no significant differences in the primary outcome of between-group difference in MCQ knowledge scores postintervention. For both the intervention and control groups, within-group differences in knowledge scores were significant among the three time points. Compared with the control group, the mean levels of satisfaction and self-confidence in learning were higher in the intervention group (54.2 and 50.5, respectively).

“Results demonstrated that VRLEs can improve knowledge, similarly to a PowerPoint tutorial,” the authors write. “This study bolsters existing research demonstrating that VRLEs are a learning tool that can increase knowledge and reflect a favorable learning experience by participants.”

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